Home > Turkmen Rugs >Review: new hoffmeister collection book Part.X
Sat, Jun 20th, 2015 10:01:11 PM
Topic: Review: new hoffmeister collection book Part.X

On first appearances this Chodor engsi, cat. 95, hoffmeister collection, looks to be a very early example and is dated “no later than early eighteenth century” in the catalog. However, we say this is not the case, and RK places it in our late Classic period, circa early 19th century and no earlier, as our mention below describes.

The next, seventh, story penned by Tsareva is titled “Chodor and Igdyr. Purple as the Ploughed Earth

RK has heard of purple rain, thanks to the rock singer and songwriter Prince, but purple earth?

Let’s see what princess Tsareva has to say about it…

Again here is a beginning RK finds bothersome and superficial

In full pile, Chodor carpets produce a remarkable visual effect with their noble royal-purple grounds…On the other hand, when worn, even the most magically beautiful Chodor knotted items lose much of their charm due to the sharp contrast between their white cotton wefts and the generally dark palette of their pile and warp yarns.

To say this is insipid commentary might be giving it too much credit.

As an art historian, and someone who is interested in more than surface beauty, RK is insulted by Tsareva’s ignorant, prejudiced and generally naďve comment implying the only good Chodor carpet is one with full pile.

This reeks of ignorance and someone in Tsareva’s shoes should be embarrassed.

After expressing such bias is it any wonder the woman can’t appreciate the difference between an ancient Turkmen carpet and a decidedly later one?

Let’s see if she can keep her shoes out of her mouth in the rest of this brief two-page attempt to write something about Chodor and Igdyr weaving.

About the purple earth we learn

Primarily nomads, early on the Chodor became engaged in agriculture, including cotton cultivation, combined with sheep, goat and camel herding(hence the variety of raw materials in their textiles). When ploughed the local soil looks purple, and the color is associated in myth and legend with agriculture as a life-giving human occupation.

Nice, but where’s the local soil she is talking about, as she mentions.

Though mainly dweller of the northern and northeastern steep territories and Mangyshlak, part of the tribe lived in the northern areas of the Khorezm oasis since the pre-Ubek period.

Go figure, or ask Tsareva; we haven’t a clue as these areas are large and we are fairly sure purple soil cannot be found everywhere therein.

A small, somewhat moot point, but one that shows the generalities and vague nature of Tsareva’s writing.

According to Tsareva

Chodor products were among the first to reach Russia, perhaps as early as the sixteenth century, although probably the earliest example known to survive is a hali main carpet used by Catherine the Great in the dining room of the Peterhoff Grand Palace near St. Petersburg.

Catherine the Great was born in 1725 and died in 1796 and, while that is a long time after the 16th century, it is still early enough to be very interesting carpet-wise and Tsareva should have included a photo of the Chodor carpet that graced that dining room.

But she didn’t, another shortcoming that could have been easily remedied and should not have occurred in a book of this type.

The two excitingly beautiful Chodor ensi in the collection are both exceptional in design. The first follows a ‘conservative’ Turkoman model, with elements in common with those seen on Salor door rugs, such as the ovadan gyra meander (cat.95). The second ensi has very rare central field pattern, combined with a traditional set of borders and panels (cat.96)

Cat. 95, hoffmeister collection

Perhaps, Tsareva needs new glasses?

What are those elements in common with “S” group, aka Salor, door rugs she see in cat. 95?

We see only the most general -- the synak border, the branched icon in the central quadrant field, the curled leaf in the narrow central panel, and the curled leaf borders.

However, none of these are the elements that distinguish an “S” group, aka Salor, engsi and here again Tsareva is exaggerating something that is hardly significant to make a point.

Plus the other engsi has dimensions -- “101 cm X 143 cm” -- totally at odds with any other engsi, Chodor or not, we have ever seen or heard about.

And while it has some engsi-type iconography, it does not have the salient elements, like a synak border or four quadrant field, all engsi must have.

We are sure this is not an engsi but some other extraneous unknown article.

Our take on cat. 95 is far from agreeing with the excitingly beautiful comments Tsareva drops like hype off an auctioneer’s lips.

We see this engsi as nothing but an amateurish attempt to combine elements of several types of engsi – Chodor, Kizil Ayak and Yomut. It’s a real polyglot of iconography, a virtually groaning smorgasbord.

Plus how can an author state

In full pile, Chodor carpets produce a remarkable visual effect with their noble royal-purple grounds…On the other hand, when worn, even the most magically beautiful Chodor knotted items lose much of their charm due to the sharp contrast between their white cotton wefts and the generally dark palette of their pile and warp yarns.

and then half a page later call this worn out, mis-shapen engsi “excitingly beautiful”?

Besides her other shortcomings, add amnesiac.

So much for the two Chodor engsi so-called uber-collector and Turkmen carpet savant peter hoffmeister collected.

But more to come from Tsareva, the hoffmeister hypist

The four Chodor chuval tent bags in the collection are among the real treasures in peter hoffmeister’s collection…


Tsareva tells us because

their diverse treatment of the seemingly similar patterns helps us to understand the creative character of the Chodor tradition.

This is nothing but worthless patter as the 4 chuval are nowhere near great examples of the type, nor do they appear to be extremely colorful or artfully rendered. And their great diversity of design is equally as unimpressive.

The best is cat. 102, shown in the scans below. But the so-called fragmented chuval, cat. 100 also shown below in the scans, is we believe not from a chuval but rather a small format carpet.

Tsareva then devotes all of one paragraph to the Igdyr and says nothing new.

What can RK say other than so far Tsareva performance is disappointing and we are honestly not surprised.

Author: Arno
email: Arnowray@web.de
Sat, Jun 20th, 2015 10:01:11 PM

RK Replies:

Greetings Arno, and thank you for your comments.

Can you please cite where this 'new genetic' research and information can be read?

We are sure many readers would like to know about it in more detail.


Ladys and Gentlemen,

for the first I love Turkmen rugs.

For the second, please show at the new genetic Sience News.

The Turks of Anatolia and Azerbaijanis are not really Turks!

Consecuently is the Azerbaijan Carpet an iranish caucasian or old kurdish Weaving Tradition.

This is not a Speculation!

Azeris spoke till 1300 an kurdish Zaza similar Language.

Please pursuit the newest genetic Finding Conclusions.

There are not few Azeri Writers, who support the Thesis, that they are not a Turkish Nation.

The genetic Investigations evidence this.



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